High Street is a hard rock, heavily blues-influenced group that originated in Chicago. Now based in Los Angeles, the band is igniting their generation to partake in the most authentic, stripped-down, and honest type of rock and roll there is. Led by lead guitarist and songwriter Erik Findling and lead vocalist Sashank Venkatesh, the band is delivering a fresh spin on classic rock with modern day influences.
It all started back in the late 2000s in the attic of Erik Findling’s Chicago household. The young middle-schooler – who first picked up a guitar at the age of 4 – and his older brother, Kurt, on drums, assembled a group with some of their musically-inclined classmates. Their attic rehearsal space looked out onto the corner of High Street, inspiring the band’s name.
As young teens, they started out as a classic rock cover band with hopes of playing a few parties around the neighborhood – never imagining this would be the beginning of a long and exciting journey. At the age of 11 Erik started creating original music opening the door to many new opportunities. With Erik’s exceptional creativity, three EPs of original music were soon recorded by prominent producers in Chicago, such as Sean O’Keefe – known for his work with Fall Out Boy and Plain White T’s. The Chicago club circuit quickly took notice and booked them all around the city at venues such as the renowned Double Door, Subterranean, and Hard Rock Chicago. This was the beginning of a new chapter for the band that would take them to the next level.
Nevertheless, just as they were really gaining momentum, Erik – the youngest member of the group – watched the band dissolve as the other members went off to college. Alas, the band was no more. However, on his own, Erik went on a personal path to develop as an artist, exploring new genres of music such as jazz and classical. He’s performed at hotspots across L.A. and Chicago, even performing at the GRAMMYs official after party in 2017. Shortly after moving out to Los Angeles, Erik found the inspiration to revive High Street permanently. This time, a fresh set of talent has been assembled to pick up right where they left off to continue the High Street legacy on a larger scale.
Sashank Venkatesh – Lead Vocals
Sashank Venkatesh is a musician and producer hailing originally from Chennai, India. With education from colleges like Musician’s Institute and Swarnabhoomi Academy of music, he has a vast array of skills ranging from his singing and guitar playing acumen to his forays into production, Mixing and Mastering. He first started singing at the age of 7, with training in South Indian Classical music. In his teenage years he picked up the guitar and with that, an affinity to recording and production. He is currently based in Los Angeles, CA.
His body of work includes artists and organizations like Karina Colis, Johann Berby, Wagon Park, Popcorn Kid, Lau Fares, Gryff, Raquel Rodriguez, Moorea Masa, Rotem Sivan, Musicares, Greek Theater and the Recording Academy. He is the lead singer for the band High Street and has his solo project, Noxigen.
Erik Findling – Lead Guitar
Erik Findling was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Coming from a musical family, he was introduced to the guitar at a very young age starting at just four years old. His older brother Kurt was a drummer, and during middle school they formed a hard rock group consisting of other classmates which would eventually become known as “High Street”. Unaware of the potential that lay ahead, they began playing neighborhood events just as a hobby at first. However when Erik got to junior high, he and the band were already headlining at renowned Chicago venues such as The Double Door, Hard Rock Café, Subterranean and many more. As the band gained more success and continued to tour around the midwest, Erik began to compose original music for the group and soon after, the band collaborated and recorded albums with acclaimed producer Sean O’Keefe, who is best known for his work with Fall Out Boy.
Early on in his career, Erik also began to become more involved in the Jazz scene. He was selected as the guitarist for the 2017 GRAMMY Combo where they recorded “Grammy 25” at the legendary Capitol Records in Los Angeles, as well as performed at the GRAMMY Awards After-parties. In addition, Erik was the only guitarist in the country to be selected for the prestigious Jazz Band of America that same year. He has since then recorded various studio albums featuring his own original compositions and classic standards. Erik has shared the stage with many artists such as Cinderella, Dave Liebman, Aloe Blacc, Chris Potter, Joey Alexander and much more.
Nicholas Metaxas – Bass
Nicholas Metaxas is a bassist and songwriter born and raised in Huntington Beach, California. Studying music theory for nearly half his life, he decided to pursue music alongside history at Cal Poly Pomona. While growing up Metaxas was exposed to a vast array of genres which shaped his modern day sound drastically. Bands such as Interpol, Joy Division, The Smiths, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and Billie Holiday along others became staples in his playlists. In an attempt to amalgamate all these genres together, Metaxas picked up the bass at the age of 12 which quickly became nothing short of an obsession. He would practice a minimum of 6 hours a day for 3 years after starting and quickly became involved in many local scenes around the Inland Empire. Currently he resides in Corona, California.
Metaxas has played at a myriad of prestigious venues including that of Carnegie Hall, The Rose Parade multiple times, colleges all over the United States ranging from California to Chicago to New York. His goal in High Street is to add a complexity to the music and separate themselves from other rock groups.
“Don’t work harder a day in your life. Work smarter every moment of it.”~Nicholas Metaxas
Brando Nikales- Drums/Backing Vocals
Brando Nikales is from Jakarta, Indonesia. Growing up in a musical family, Brando picked up the drums at just 12 years old and immediately fell in love with the instrument while he began playing at church at a young age.
Brando always dreamed about wanting to be a drummer professionally, and right after highschool he decided to move to the United States to pursue his dream and enrolled in Musician’s Institute. Apart from doing various session work, Brando is well versed in a variety of genres that include rock, funk, R&B, hiphop, jazz, latin and gospel. His backbeat to High Street is the source of the band’s driving power and rhythm behind each song.